East Africa off-grid solar PV financing

Published: 07/11/16

Trinity is pleased to have advised a syndicate of debt funds, led by resonsAbility Investment AG (one of the world’s leading asset managers specialising in development-related sectors of emerging economies) (‘RiA’) in relation to the financing of Off Grid Electric’s (‘OGE’) East African solar PV off-grid, distributed solar home systems and batteries. The transaction required the adoption of an innovative structured funding solution; involving 4 different jurisdictions and complex security sharing arrangements with existing financiers from Off Grid Electric’s earlier fund raising rounds.

The Trinity team was led by Simon Norris and Tinashe Makoni and highlighted two developing trends in the African power sector:

  • The need to explore multi-sourced funding solutions and in particular, from non-bank financial institutions, to bridge the funding gap. In this instance, the RiA led consortium included US and Swiss based private equity funds advancing funds OGE which had previously raised funding from US DFIs, high net worth individuals and private equity funds.
  • The rise of off-grid, mini-grid and micro-grid solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. OGE currently services more than 100,000 households and business in Tanzania and Rwanda and in the year up to August 2016, the company added more solar homes than the Tanzanian utility company added to the grid. In addition to this, since 2013, Trinity has been engaged to act for the Government of Uganda and a donor group led by KfW in relation to a scheme to encourage the development of small (typically 1MW to 20MW) renewable power projects. Trinity is also working with KfW in relation to GET FiT Zambia, focusing on smaller, distributed projects to complement IFC’s Scaling Solar program.

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